Belgium, country known for it’s beer, chocolate and love of French fries (they just call them fries though) has had the unenviable top spot of highest number of covid-19 death per capita thus far. According to Belgian authorities, this is because of their way of counting. Any person deceased in a care home of whom the cause of death is unknown is included in the figures, which causes the high number.
In any case, authorities would do good to have a long and hard think whether promoting your country in tourism brochures as one of beer, chocolate and fattening foods is really the impression you want to portray abroad when this is all over.
In the past few days, Belgian media was outraged because an Italian newspaper dared to guess the weight of their local liberal health minister Ms Maggie De Block, whom they thought weighed around 140kg.
It is in any case a strange occurrence that the two persons responsible for guiding the country through a pandemic, Mr Marc Van Ranst and Ms De Block, are both not what you would call people having a healthy weight. Though I fully agree that says nothing about their intellect, one can at least argue that they are not really portraying a healthy lifestyle to their own citizens, whose elderly population could probably have been helped by the advice of consuming a bit less beer, chocolate and fries in earlier years.
Given the circumstances and the perception of media abroad (who also need a boost to their own national feelings), the latest move of the Belgian government has therefore been mercilessly mocked. Although schools remain closed, the McDonalds and Quick drive-in has at least been reopened.
Nothing like some fast food to get you through this of course.